Council tax bills to rise 6 per cent in Brighton and Hove from April

Posted On 22 Feb 2018 at 8:41 pm

Council tax bills for Brighton and Hove will go up by 5.99 per cent from April.

The average band D council tax will rise by £87.57 to £1,549.07 for the 2018-19 financial year.

The police precept will add £165.91 to a band D council tax bill and the fire service precept will add £91, making £1,805.98.

People living in Rottingdean, where there is a parish council, and in some of the historic squares will pay a bit more on top.

The Brighton and Hove City Council decision was made at the council’s annual budget meeting after the Labour administration cut a deal with the Conservatives, the main opposition party.

The meeting, at Hove Town Hall, allocated a total budget of more than £900 million to pay for more than 700 services.

Councillor Warren Morgan, leader of the council, said: “We have risen to the challenges given to us, we have taken the tough decisions, put the resources we have left where they can be used best.

“On the back of two years where we have had to save in excess of £40 million, we’ve worked hard to identify a further £12 million savings in this budget, a task that becomes harder with each year that passes.

“Lord Porter, Conservative chair of the Local Government Association, has warned that the majority of councils have little choice but to increase council tax bills again this year.

“He has also warned the government that ‘there cannot be a sustainable NHS without a sustainable social care system’, and called for ‘significant new investment into our social care system’ to stop the winter crisis becoming an ‘all-year round NHS crisis’.

“Our priorities continue to be getting the basics right, protecting the vulnerable and growing the economy for the good of all in Brighton and Hove.

“Critical to the success of this city, vital to our public services, essential for business and so important to the health and wellbeing of our residents is the availability of good quality and truly affordable housing.

“It is perhaps the biggest challenge we face. We’re building 500 council homes. We will be delivering a thousand more at truly affordable rents and we’re buying back council homes.

“Our budget protects the most vulnerable in our city. More than £9 million has been agreed in pressure funding to cover the increasing demands and costs for adult social care, people with learning disabilities, and children’s social care placements.

“We’re also regenerating across the city. Preston Barracks, derelict for 20 years, sees the start of construction on a major new £300 million regeneration project delivering 1,500 new jobs, nearly 400 new homes and over £280 million in economic growth for the Lewes Road area over the coming decade.”

“Having made £40 million in savings since 2015, and with a further £12 million next year, the demands upon our services are stark moving forward.

“I do not want to see an increase of council tax by 5.99 per cent. It’s an increase few can afford.

“The current funding situation leaves us no choice if we are to keep our services running. It’s a choice almost all councils have had to make.

“Time is fast running out on the funding, structures and services of local government, in town halls and county halls and city halls of every political colour across this country.”

The budget supports priority services, including adult social care, children’s social care and other services to combat inequality.

Key funding includes

•         An extra £6 million for adult social care

•         An extra £3 million for children’s social care services to support increasing demands and costs of caring for children in care

•         £156,000 funding to tackle criminal exploitation of young people and vulnerable adults

•         £165,000 additional funding to provide support for rough sleepers

•         An additional £400,000 for support and advice for vulnerable people impacted by welfare reforms

•         More than £95 million allocated for building new homes on council-owned land through the New Homes for Neighbourhoods council house building programme and the affordable housing joint venture

The council said: “Next year schemes totalling £30million are starting, using capital funds gained by reducing our use of council buildings.

“Schemes include an upgraded two storey Shelter Hall, Brighton Town Hall redevelopment, Valley Gardens, the Royal Pavilion Estates, Preston Barracks and the Madeira Terraces.

“There are schemes worth more than £200million planned in our 10-year programme starting next year.

“We will also be investing in a major street lighting improvement programme.

“The council’s gross revenue budget, which covers council services, is more than £750 million.

“The capital programme budget of more than £180 million includes investment in housing, regeneration, schools and highways and transport.

“The council’s net General Fund budget of £209 million is the sum after accounting for HRA (Housing Revenue Account), schools funding grants, housing benefit and rents, fees and charges.”

  1. Dee Trickey Reply

    Another CT rise in the City. Why am I still paying for the students who live next door to me and use the exact same services as I do, if not more. I’m pretty certain they could afford £5 a month CT. Considering the amount of students in the city and the extra housing provided their contribution would go a long way in helping to keep our services at an affordable level for everyone.
    I used to be a student and I have nothing against them, but the City has seen a dramatic increase in recent years, with development sites being given over to their housing needs, so they should contribute. They use the same street lighting as me, they use the same refuse and recycling as me and they have access to all the other services just as I do so why aren’t they contributing a little something, £5 a month is the cost of a pint of beer or a bottle of wine. The council need to wake up and realise that it isn’t just hard working tax paying people who live in the City and use the public services, students do too and the cost needs to be distributed more evenly.

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